Costa Rica to Hold World Meeting of Blue Zones

Beach Jaco, Costa Rica // Photo by Simon Dannhauer/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The “World Meeting of Blue Zones” will be held this November in Costa Rica to explore and discuss areas of the world with higher life expectancy than average. It’s set to take place in the Nicoya Peninsula, in an area that includes the five cantons of Guanacaste, Santa Cruz, Hojancha, Carrillo, Nandayure and part of the canton of Nicoya.

During the meeting, participants will explore why this area has a higher life expectancy than other areas of the country and the world. Older inhabitants will share their experiences to help others understand what’s happening from a scientific, cultural and health point of view.

Blue Zones are designated based on whether inhabitants age 80 and over enjoy good physical and mental health, take part in healthy eating and physical activity, faith and spirituality, have support from the family, and find a purpose and reason for living. 

This concept came from a series of demographic and statistical works by Gianni Pes and Michael Poulin, but became known around the world as a result of the investigative journalism of Dan Buettner with National Geographic and the subsequent publication of his book, The Blue Zones.

Tourism is not forgotten at the event as the meeting will be complemented by local cultural activities including concerts, theater, folklore, culinary activities, documentary films, and more. Guests will also be able to interact with the oldest inhabitants to learn how they lived such a long life. 

According to recent studies done by Dr. Luis Rosero, from the Central American Center of Population (CCP) of the University of Costa Rica, the concentration of inhabitants older than 90, with a healthy lifespan on the Nicoya Peninsula, is unique in the world, and the mortality rate of that population is 10 percent lower when compared with others in the rest of the country. 

There are currently 5,000 inhabitants over the age of 75 as well as 41 inhabitants over the age of 100 and nine who will turn 100 before November. 
Part of the Nicoya Peninsula is being added to the exclusive list of five "Blue Zones" in the world which currently include: Icaria, Greece, Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan and Loma Linda, CA. The Nicoya Peninsula is the only Blue Zone in Ibero-America and the largest in the world.

The event will take place November 16 and 18.


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